Legal Milestones

August 11, 2018  Registrants w/ Out of State Convictions May Not Have to Register in AK

In a decision that combined two cases pending before the court, justices said a strict reading of the 1994 Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act does not grant the Alaska Department of Public Safety leeway when determining whether an out-of-state sex crime matches an illegal act under state law.

August 7, 2018  GPS Violates 4th Amendment

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that the state government’s requirement that registrants wear a GPS tracking device is an unreasonable search which violates the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Decision | CS Monitor  | ACSOL | Sacramento Bee |

August 6, 2018  Retroactive Lifetime Registration in NJ Struck Down

Two New Jersey registrants won an appeal after being retroactively forced to register for life. Both would have been eligible to be removed after 15 years, but a subsequent change in the law removed that opportunity. The Superior Court of New Jersey found the State changed the law retroactively, thereby changing the consequences of their guilty plea and creating a “manifest injustice” for the two individuals.  DecisionFL Action Comm. |

August 1, 2018  Reclass Burden of Proof on the State

The Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board has the burden of proof when determining whether a sex offender should not be moved to a less dangerous classification, the state’s highest court ruled. The Supreme Judicial Court also ruled in separate cases that indigent sex offenders have a right to legal counsel in reclassification hearings, and that those hearings must be held within a “reasonable” period of time. AP News | NARSOL

August 1, 2018  “CSA Accomodation Syndrome” Ruled Invalid

The New Jersey Supreme Court, reversing decades-old precedent, decided Tuesday that a psychological theory used for decades to prosecute criminal cases of child sexual abuse is largely invalid.  Syllabus | |

July 12, 2018  US Distr. Judge Dismisses ACSOL Challenge to Intl Megan’s Law

A Federal Judge in the Central District of California dismissed a challenge to the International Megan’s Law (IML). In a 17 page opinion (which can be read here), comprised of mostly history of the law, the Court found that the complaint brought by the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) should be dismissed without leave to amend.  FL Action Committee | Syllabus 

June 22, 2018  Lifetime Megan’s Law for Juveniles Unconstitutional

The New Jersey Supreme Court held that the irrebuttable presumption that a juvenile sex offender can never be rehabilitated and therefore is subject to a lifetime Megan’s Law notification requirement is unconstitutional. NJ Law Review | Justia | |

June 13, 2018  Residence Restriction Settlement for Registrant

A sex offender who sued West St. Paul, MN over its 2016 ordinance that restricted where he could live will receive $84,000 as part of a settlement agreement approved by a federal judge.  NARSOL | |

May 31, 2018  Megan’s Law Enhancements Unconstitutional

The New Jersey Supreme Court held 2014 amendments to Megan’s Law enhancing certain penalties for sex offenders who violate parole requirements unenforceable against four defendants based on the ex post facto clauses of both the state and federal constitutions. NARSOL | NJ Law Journal |

April 17, 2018  “Crime of Violence” Unconstitutionally Vague

The United States Supreme Court affirmed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that the definition of “crime of violence” is unconstitutionally vague.  NARSOL | Syllabus

March 31, 2018  Broward County Residency Restrictions Unconstitutional

Judge Mindy Solomon of Broward County has held Section 16-127 of the Fort Lauderdale Code of Ordinances unconstitutional both as applied and on its face. The effect of this ruling is to roll back an enhanced residency restriction applied to registered citizens which was enacted in October, 2007, and that prohibited all persons ever convicted of enumerated child sex offenses from residing within 1,400 feet of various designated landmarks, including schools and school bus stops. NARSOL | FL Action Committee

Mach 12, 2018  WV Internet Restriction Unconstitutional

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has ruled that completely restricting a person’s access to the internet as a condition of their parole from prison is a violation of the First Amendment. NARSOL |

November 7, 2017  PA: “Sexually Violent Predator Designation Unconstitutional

A panel of appellate judges ruled that Pennsylvania’s established process to designate a convicted sex offender as a “sexually violent predator” is unconstitutional. NARSOL

October 6, 2017 AZ Strikes Down Enhanced Sentences When No Child Involved

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled that judges cannot impose enhanced sentences on those convicted of soliciting sex with a minor when it turns out there was no child to begin with.  NARSOL |

June 19, 2017  Packingham vs North Carolina – SCOTUS Strikes Down Internet Ban

In Packingham vs. North Carolina, the US Supreme Court said a North Carolina law that made it a felony for sex offenders to access sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and LinkedIn violated the First Amendment. “To foreclose access to social media altogether is to prevent the user from engaging in the legitimate exercise of First Amendment rights,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote. “Even convicted criminals — and in some instances, especially convicted criminals — might receive legitimate benefits from these means for access to the world of ideas, in particular if they seek to reform and to pursue lawful and rewarding lives.”  SyllabusUSA Today | Washington Post